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Thread: Which Phone Should I Buy? (Motos, ZTE, others?)

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    Question Which Phone Should I Buy? (Motos, ZTE, others?)

    I am having problems with my three year old T-Mobile (USA) Samsung Galaxy S4, so am looking at buying a new phone.

    As there are no more phone subsidies from T-Mo, I am looking at buying an unlocked phone, for my first time.

    Some of my requirements:

    I see that some unlocked phones are VERY expensive, even $600 or $700! No way do I want to spend that much for a phone, even on an installment plan. Max about $400, preferably less.

    I would like to get a larger screen than my current S4. So likely at least 5.5", or 5.7". PErhaps even 6", but there aren't many of those.

    Memory card expandability is a must for me. (I put a lot of music on the phone.) I would not buy a phone without that feature.

    I would prefer a replaceable battery too, but it seems like that is very rare now, unfortunately. If people are aware of some current phones with that feature, please tell me.

    I will mention three phones I have looked at lately, for your comments on them. I am also open to hearing about other phones that might fit my requirements. (Unfortunately though, none of these three seem to have a replaceable battery.)

    These three are all at different prices, so not directly comparable. I am sure the more expensive likely better. The question is whether better enough to justify the additional expenses.

    Moto G4 (about $199) (I don't see much advantage in the plus versoin, but correct me if I'm wrong abpit that.) I would get the lowest memory option (16GB), as I would supplement it with a 64 or 128GB memory card.

    Or spend $100 more for the Moto X Pure, at $299? Worth $100 more?

    Or $200 more for the ZTE Axon 7, at $399. Certainly sounds very nice, but don't know if really as good as it sounds. (And since they are not available yet in the USA, cannot get info from users.) Also, they say available on July 25. But often ETAs are wrong, and there can be delays. So I don't know how long the wait would be to actually get one of these. In any case, worth $200 more than the Moto G4, $100 more than the Moto X Pure?

    They advertise "hi-fi audio" for the Axon 7. I wonder if that is just a gimmick? All phones I have used have good audio through headphones. or decent external speakers. Due to their size, I do not think any phone would have good audio through their internal speaker. Some may be better than others, but none really could be called "hi-fi". The way to listen to music on a phone is not through the phone's speaker. The Axon 7 also advertises stereo microphones for recording audio, and better quality. I sometimes video music concerts with my phone, and if the microphones on the Axon 7 really record better quality audio, that could be a plus. However, I don't know if that quality improvement would really be noticeable in real life, or just look good on paper and ads?

    The two year warranty for the Axon is also a plus. Has anyone reading had experience with ZTE warranty service?

    Interested in hearing input on any or all of those three phones (considering price difference), and any other phones you think might meet my requirements stated earlier.

    Thanks in advance for your input. :-)

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    Another one I just looked at: Polaroid Power 600SL I think it may have a replaceable battery too. Large 6" screen. Anyone familiar with Polaroid phones?

    https://www.amazon.com/Polaroid-P600.../dp/B01DQIQ1VY

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    Yet another I wonder about? LG G Vista? https://www.amazon.com/LG-Vista-Unlo.../dp/B00Q0CIPGS

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    Quote Originally Posted by maiki View Post
    I don't believe the Mate 2 has all the bands for T-Mobile, and also is an older phone. In it's place I'd suggest the Huawei Honor 5X, which appears to have great reviews. It is also under $200 at Amazon.

    I'd also look at the One Plus 3, which is also getting good reviews and is $399.

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    The Nexus 6P is a great option for a larger screened phone.

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    If the budget permits I would second the Nexus 6P

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    Thanks, Mogeljk Yes, I know the Mate 2 is older, but it is very inexpensive now, and very large screen. But missing T-Mobile bands would be a problems. I will look into the Honor 5x. Does that have all the T-Mo bands?

    Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
    I don't believe the Mate 2 has all the bands for T-Mobile, and also is an older phone. In it's place I'd suggest the Huawei Honor 5X, which appears to have great reviews. It is also under $200 at Amazon.

    I'd also look at the One Plus 3, which is also getting good reviews and is $399.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jessecla View Post
    If the budget permits I would second the Nexus 6P
    Two reasons I would not consider the Nexus 6P.

    1. Way too expensive.

    2. Even if it was not expensive, I would not consider a phone without memory card expandability. That is a dealkiller for me.

    (I would really strongly prefer a replaceable battery too, but quite unfortunately, they seem to have become almost extinct in new phone models. But I would not buy a phone without memory card capability.)

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    Mogeljk, the Huawei Honor 5 does look like a good deal. Are you sure it is fully compatible with T-Mo?

    Could you compare it to the Moto G4, similar price, also 5.5" screen, I think newer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by maiki View Post
    Mogeljk, the Huawei Honor 5 does look like a good deal. Are you sure it is fully compatible with T-Mo?

    Could you compare it to the Moto G4, similar price, also 5.5" screen, I think newer?
    The Honor 5X has all the T-Mobile bands, though apparently Band 12 is currently disabled on T-Mobile since the phone does not yet support VoLTE. It is rumored that Huawei is working to get T-Mobile certification for the phone.

    As for the Moto G4 to the Honor 5X, they seem very comparable -- likely just depends on your personal preference as to which is better.

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    From what I understand the Honor series has a bloated and buggy overlay over Android, and rarely updates to a newer Android. Motorola is the opposite, close to pure Android. (I never used either, but that is from reading about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maiki View Post
    From what I understand the Honor series has a bloated and buggy overlay over Android, and rarely updates to a newer Android. Motorola is the opposite, close to pure Android. (I never used either, but that is from reading about them.
    Motorola was that way when Google owned them; since being sold to Lenovo they still are close to stock Android but updates are lacking. For example, the 2nd Gen carrier version of the Moto X didn't even get updated to Marshmallow. Lenovo has been unreliable, at best, with their updates.

    My understanding is that the overlay on the current Honor is minimal and easily turned off. My understanding is that the Honor is also getting updates, including the monthly security patches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
    Motorola was that way when Google owned them; since being sold to Lenovo they still are close to stock Android but updates are lacking. For example, the 2nd Gen carrier version of the Moto X didn't even get updated to Marshmallow. Lenovo has been unreliable, at best, with their updates.

    My understanding is that the overlay on the current Honor is minimal and easily turned off. My understanding is that the Honor is also getting updates, including the monthly security patches.
    I'm not trying to defend Lenovo, but my understanding is that they abandoned the carrier versions of the 2014 Moto X when they decided to circumvent carrier involvement with updates with the launch of the 2015 Moto X. In other words, abandoning the 2014 carrier variants represented an overall change in philosophy to cut out the carriers.

    Of course, this doesn't excuse Lenovo from telling folks that devices (e.g. Moto E) would be supported only to back out later. So, I agree that "unreliable, at best" is a good characterization. But I am also (naively) optimistic that the new carrier-agnostic strategy will lead to reliable updates moving forward.

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    If you want updates then an nexus is your best bet or any of the Samsung Galaxy phones they seem to get updates

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